We’ve experienced some of the coldest winter days over the last weeks of February and the first one of March. By this time of year, winter has lost its charms. Trudging out to the barn first thing on a bitter cold morning, carrying buckets of water because the pipes in the barn have frozen shut, and having to pick away at slabs of ice just to get the barn door open…well, this is just not an acceptable way to begin the day any more. But, Mother Nature seems to have a way of stepping up just when you most need her to, and suddenly the first signs of spring blow in and to lift one’s spirits and give one hope of warmer, greener days.
My winter gear felt just a bit too much during early morning chores, by midday I had lost most of it, and by early afternoon my flannel shirt and fleece vest were all I needed while hanging out with Bowie and the flock. Snow and ice was melting all over the farm, and the pastures and gardens began to slowly shed their winter wear as well. The crisp, almost antiseptic scent of winter began giving way to whiffs of sodden earth. Spring, at last, felt near.
This evening, I spread out packets of seeds I’d bought on a January evening when planting season was still in the distant future. Varieties of beets, kale, tomatoes, and blossoms of every color and height: the promise of this year’s garden bounty was the perfect sight.